Thursday, March 31, 2011

ABCs of Breakfast ... U through Z


Teen boys, especially those involved in sports, are often looking for ways to ‘bulk up’ and build muscle. A hearty breakfast, with only moderate amounts of fat, is one of the best places to begin. Protein is essential – scrambled eggs or an omelet with a couple of extra whites are a wonderful choice. Smoothies made with couple of tablespoons of powdered milk are another delicious option (and much cheaper than fancy protein powders).


Variety is the spice of life and the foundation of healthful eating. The best way to get the 40+ nutrients your body craves is to eat a wide variety of foods at every meal, including breakfast. Around the world, people eat a wide variety of breakfast foods – so be creative in your choices and take time to enjoy a morning meal every day. Always remember, it can be as convenient and as inexpensive as a bowl of cereal and milk – which costs on average of $.50 and takes only a few minutes to eat.


This is a shameless plug for my personal favorite ‘American’ breakfast: Belgian waffles with fruit (like sliced bananas or berries) and a little whipped cream or vanilla yogurt. While not an every-day breakfast, they are a wonderful weekend or vacation treat. (And, consider sharing one with a friend, since many waffles are more than enough for two, especially if you splurge on some lean breakfast meat as a side.)

Xiang jiao

(I’ll admit that this is ‘cheating’ a little, but it’s hard to find an X breakfast food – this one means banana in Mandarin.) While you can easily eat nature’s fast food just as is, you can also enjoy bananas in almost all of the breakfast foods mentioned in this series: on hot oatmeal, cold cereal, and waffles, for example. You can also make a delicious Skinny Banana Split for breakfast … with ¼ cup vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate low-fat Greek (or other) yogurt; sliced nuts (almonds, peanuts, or pecans); and berries. If you need more detailed directions than the photo, visit the recipe page of the Western Dairy Association.

Yams (aka sweet potatoes)

Looking for a yummy way to add variety to a favorite breakfast food? Enjoy a variety of home “fries,” including yams (aka sweet potatoes in some produce departments), red potatoes, Yukon golds, or very fun purple-fleshed potatoes. Any of these roots can be sliced into ¼-rounds, lightly brushed with olive oil, and baked in a ____ degree oven until crisp on the outside and deliciously soft inside.


Like iron, zinc is an important mineral in brain development, cognitive functioning, and a strong immune system. Lean beef has zinc, iron and protein (ZIP) – which makes a lean roast beef wrap an especially powerful breakfast possibility. No time to wrap up a breakfast? No worries – pack some beef jerky in baggie, grab a banana, and you’ll be good-to-go when you pick up a carton of low-fat milk.

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